Ethiopia disarms regional militias despite protests

Government's push to disarm militias has triggered violent protests in Amhara state which have claimed civilian lives

Ekip  | 17.04.2023 - Update : 17.04.2023
Ethiopia disarms regional militias despite protests


The Ethiopian government announced Sunday that it has successfully disarmed regional militias as part of its push to restore stability in the country.

But the move has been met with controversy and protests in Amhara state, where civilian lives were lost last week.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been working to eliminate regional militias in Ethiopia as part of a wider effort to combat ethnic violence and restore order in the country.

"This decision is implemented for the sake of Ethiopia's unity and for the people's peace," Abiy said, referring to the exercise.

The announcement signaled a significant step forward in this effort.

Amhara, Ethiopia's second-largest state, has been particularly resistant to the government's efforts to disarm regional militias.

It has been opposed to the abolishment of special forces across Ethiopia, while its proximity to the Tigray region, where the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) waged a two-year war against the Ethiopian National Defense Forces until last November, has heightened tensions.

The government's push to mop up regional militias in Amhara resulted in protests that turned violent.

The clashes claimed civilian lives, and there were reports of property damage and looting.

The government responded with a heavy security presence which has been criticized by some as heavy-handed.

Critics of the government's disarmament efforts argue that it has led to a power vacuum that has allowed other armed groups to fill the void.

Others point to the risk of further violence and instability as the government's push to disarm regional militias continues.

Despite the challenges, the government has remained resolute in its commitment to disarm regional militias and restore order in the country.

The prime minister has reiterated his government's commitment to peace and stability, stating that the disarmament process is an essential step towards achieving lasting peace and security in Ethiopia.

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